01.12.2011

To improve in corruption perceptions index political interest should be considerably higher in Estonia

 

The value of the 2011 CPI index for Estonia is 6.4 placing us 29th in the overall country ranking table. The score has virtually remained the same since 2005 when Estonia scored 6.4 as well.

Transparency International Estonia (TIE) feels that the main reason for the relative stagnation is the lack of political will to deal with adequate development of corruption prevention measures and potential corruption issues higher up. Instead the main focus has been solely on small scale corruption.

Though the effectiveness of law enforcement institutions and extension of their jurisdiction during previous years has been considerable and welcome worth initiative, it is not enough. “Focusing mainly on dealing with the consequences of corruption instead of preventing it altogether is not sufficient,” said  CEO of TIE Asso Prii.

Therefore TIE finds that the main problem concerning anti-corruption issues is the lack of political will to improve the regulations and anti-corruption measures that apply to politicians themselves. 

An example of this is the failure to change the regulations on financing of political parties. Because of that the supervision over parties’ cash flows and campaign costs has remained weak and insufficient. Regrettably the legislator was not interested in giving adequate jurisdiction and capacity to the Supervisory Committee on Partiy Financing and the role of the committee is therefore mainly formal.

Another important issue that requires political will is the implementation of parliamentary Code of Ethics.  The Code of Ethics would define what is permitted and what is not in grey areas where statutory regulations lack. For instance it would be a useful tool for regulating lobby and avoiding conflicts of interests related to the work of Parliamentarians.

Today (01.12.2011) the European Parliament is voting over their Code of Conduct. “Sadly in Estonia there have been no serious discussions over Code of Ethics for the members of Estonian Parliament,” said Asso Prii.

The final important issue concerns public procurements and distribution of state money. These aspects have been vulnerable to corruption for years and it has also been acknowledged, but there are still no viable solutions.